The “Cholitas Escaladoras” (Climbing ‘Cholitas’) are going for Everest
It was there, in the freezing cold, on the high peak charged with the noise of silence and the brave winds. It was there, where they, tired, arrived. There were five of them and two arrived at five o’clock in the morning, on a summer morning, at the summit of the highest mountain in the Southern Cone. Five women, Bolivian, cholitas, advanced in the heavy and solid snow under the moon.
Lidia Huayllas, Dora Mangueño, Ana Lía (Lita) Gonzales, Cecilia Llusco Alaña and Elena Quispe climbed the Aconcagua and the news, at the beginning of this year, toured the world’s newspapers. For them, it’s a pride, but not enough: they want more.
It’s three in the afternoon and Lita is about to submit her thesis of the Tourism career. She is 34 years old and is the first of her family to attend university, to leave the confines of the town and live in the city. She is from the Zongo Valley, a small community 83 km from La Paz, in the eastern buttresses of the Andes Mountain Range. The area, full of vegetation and mountains, was the place where I observed the hills from the window, every morning.